Stories: Ressurecting Hope from the Ashes | Hand of Hope - Joyce Meyer Ministries

Ressurecting Hope from the Ashes

Resurrecting Hope from the Ashes

How You’re Helping Bring Critical Relief to Northern California

“I looked out and could see the fire was coming up the canyon,” Amber Bush said. “The trees were shaking. I grabbed my baby and the cat and ran to the car. Burning embers were already littering the driveway and Emma was crying as I strapped her into her car seat. I said a quick prayer and then said goodbye to the house.”

The Carr Fire was a massive wildfire that burned 229,651 acres in northern California. It started on July 23, 2018, was responsible for eight deaths, destroyed over 1,000 homes and burned for nearly 40 days before being permanently contained.

Unfortunately, the nightmare was only beginning for Scot and Amber Bush as they learned their home was fraudulently under-insured. Between that and an excavating scam that left the topography of their property severely damaged, the Bushes were looking at around $200,000 just to get their property into the proper condition to rebuild.

With your help, Hand of Hope, Joyce Meyer Ministries World Missions quickly connected with Bethel Global Response in Redding California to put boots on the ground and bring critical relief.

“From the day the fire hit Redding, Hand of Hope was with us,” Carl Ladd, the deputy director of Bethel Global Response, said. “With over 30,000 people evacuated and more than 1,000 properties destroyed, a large percentage of our community was displaced without food, clothing or even basic necessities. Through our partnership with Joyce Meyer Ministries, we opened a distribution center to provide immediate assistance to everyone affected by the fire.”

And work had only begun. “After meeting people’s immediate needs with the distribution center, we knew they still needed more,” Ladd said. “That’s when we decided to give the fire victims a onetime gift of $1,000, and Joyce Meyer Ministries helped make that commitment a reality. The money was significant in that it was a radical gift of generosity that broke down walls and allowed people to believe help was still coming.”

In addition to the $1,000 gift—and when it appeared that all hope for rebuilding was gone for Scot and Amber Bush—Hand of Hope stepped in and is making it possible for them to rebuild their home after all.

To the partners of Joyce Meyer Ministries, Amber said, “I love you! Not just because of the money, but because of your heart and because you care about your fellow humans and what we’re going through. I can’t say ‘thank you’ enough!”

Bill and Celia Stevens, who lost their home and all of its contents to the fire, were very grateful to Bethel, their home church. “Our church opened a distribution center…they had underwear, toothpaste, toothbrushes…socks,” Bill said.

Originally from the St. Louis area, Bill and Celia are very familiar with Joyce Meyer Ministries. To the partners of Joyce Meyer Ministries, who helped get the distribution center up and running and made the $1,000-gift possible, Bill said, “Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

“Just to know that someone cared…that we had support. It’s huge,” Celia added, “Thank you for demonstrating the heart of the Father.”

As the immediate needs from the fire were eventually met, it became apparent that a major obstacle blocking many of the fire victims from starting the rebuilding process was the high cost of clearing their properties. To stay relevant to the cause of rebuilding the community, Bethel Global Response purchased the necessary equipment and hired a four-man crew and developed their Forestry Program, designed to clear a 100-foot perimeter around the building pads of the victims’ properties.

However, it soon became clear that the brutal labor involved consumed a great deal of time, and they were looking at it possibly taking two years to fulfill their commitment.

Because of you, Hand of Hope was ready to lend another helping hand and committed to double the team and equipment for a year. This additional help is cutting in half the effort of clearing the properties.

Chuck and Sue MacDonald feel especially grateful to the Forestry Team for their efforts in clearing their property. “It blesses me to see these guys working so hard. They’re just doing it because they’re really great people,” Chuck said. “There are two chippers, two crews…these guys are really amazing. It makes something bad—what happened to us—almost okay, with the love they poured out on us.”

“Mostly, it’s the fact that people are giving,” he said. “It has changed my attitude toward the church and people in general. It really blessed our socks off. I could never have done all of this by myself.”

Carl Ladd of Bethel Global Response added, “If I could meet the partners of Joyce Meyer Ministries, I’d tell them I’m just eternally grateful to them for allowing Hand of Hope to operate the way they do. Because of the partners, we were able to make an immediate and long-term impact on our community. Thank you for making all of this possible.”

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